Responses to House of Bishops meeting

March 13, 2008

Episcopal Life Online has received several responses to the news emerging from the March 7-12 House of Bishops meeting at Camp Allen outside Houston, Texas. A cross section of those responses follow.

House of Bishops statement on the Lambeth Conference
Michael Patterson, San Francisco, California

I'm afraid that this is not much more than "Bishop Speak," a form of communication honoring euphemism over clarity and integrity. Even if the House of Bishops, in conscience, determined that the best course of action would be for The Episcopal Church to participate in Lambeth this year, you had an obligation to the Church to deal in your statement with the fact that Communion's diminishment of one bishop is a diminishment of each of you individually and our Church as a whole.

House of Bishops statement on the Lambeth Conference
The Rev. Ralph Pitman, Cleveland, Ohio

Indeed, since, not if, Bishop Robinson is "a canonically elected and consecrated Bishop in this church," and the only Bishop in our church not invited to Lambeth, why would any bishop in the Episcopal Church accept an invitation? If we allow others to determine the validity of our canonical processes then we surrender our autonomy. If Bishop Robinson's consecration somehow invalidates him in the eyes of the Archbishop of Canterbury, then all of our orders are suspect. For this, and yet mostly just in simple solidarity with our brother Gene, I would urge and encourage our Presiding Bishop and all others to refuse the invitation to attend the Lambeth Conference. Chatting in gilded rooms and praying in ornate chapels while a member of our family is alienated is a violation of our trust and collegiality. Polite conversation belies the glaring fact that if my brother is not welcome then I am not welcome. Who will have the courage to publicly say he or she will stay home? I wait to hear the names and celebrate their courage.

House of Bishops statement on the Lambeth Conference
Fr. Van Windsor, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Very healthy and positive response. I hope it is well received, I'm sure it was well intentioned.

House of Bishops statement on the Lambeth Conference
Katherine Clark, Racine, Wisconsin

This communication from the House of Bishops is enormously comforting somehow, strengthening. That the Episcopal Church stands almost alone in the Anglican Communion in a willingness at least to address homosexuality is indeed something to be thankful for. That we continue to celebrate our diversity is beautiful to see, and realize. As the Body of Christ, we are showing ourselves to all the world as a church that is willing to live in ambiguity and unsettledness -- willing to wait sometimes in darkness and misunderstanding until that day comes when the Church can lead the way in refusing to draw lines that separate human beings according to their identity, whatever that identity may be. What we share with God himself is our very humanity, which in Jesus he chose to be his own. The time will surely come when all Christians will be able to know there are no boundaries, no limits on the consequences of that single mighty act. If God himself was born among us, flesh of our flesh, how can we dare try to define what portion of that flesh our minds will allow the Incarnation to comprehend! My thanks to this gathering of the House of Bishops. Many have been praying for you daily, and will be praying as Lambeth approaches. In Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, the great wizard tells a frightened hobbit: "It is not so much the times we are given that matter -- but what we do with those times." Amen to that!

House of Bishops statement on the Lambeth Conference
Lisa Fox, Jefferson City, Missouri

What a pitiful statement from our bishops! This bears all the marks of committee-speak. It says nothing, proclaims nothing, risks nothing. How pitiful. Sitting out here in flyover country, it appears they wasted several days and many thousands of dollars in order to arrive at ... nothing.

House of Bishops statement on the Lambeth Conference
Jim Payne, Sarasota, Florida

The Statement concerning Bishop Robinson seems a bit mild -- if it had been one of their other more "regular" members ...

Lambeth invitation 'not possible' for Robinson
G. Edward Snyder, Dallas, Texas

It is with sadness that I realize that the same hatred and ill-will that infects the societies within the Church has indeed also infected some of those who profess the love of God and proclaim themselves followers of Christ. How can the Church pretend to minister to those outside the organization when it clearly has the stains of intolerance upon its own garments. I had hoped for more from those who profess to be leaders.

House of Bishops statement on the Lambeth Conference
Malcolm J Blue, Valencia, California

It is sad that the bishops did not acknowledge that Bishop V. Gene Robinson is also not invited to Lambeth because he is the only "out" bishop in [the Episcopal Church]. The closeted bishops are invited with the results therefore that they can participate less freely and openly than could the Bishop of New Hampshire. As we used to yell in a children's game: "Come out, come out wherever you are!"

House of Bishops statement on Schofield, Cox
David Clarke, Australia

I am intrigued by the phrase that was used "necessary for the ongoing integrity of The Episcopal Church." It appears that "integrity" is the very thing that is missing in the actions of the House of Bishops in seeking to depose bishops who have already resigned from TEC. The actions instead seem to be petty and vindictive. How is 'reconciling love' or servanthood being demonstrated with this action?

House of Bishops consents to deposition of John-David Schofield, William Cox
West Jacocks, Sumter, South Carolina

I think that it is good that the Presiding Bishop and the other so-called bishops of the Episcopal Church who voted for this recognize that they are a different religion than the Anglican Communion and say so by proclaiming that a Godly bishop who holds to the ancient precepts of the church cannot be part of their new thing.

House of Bishops consents to deposition of John-David Schofield, William Cox
Robert Langly, Woodbridge, Virginia

And, at the top of the web page is "The Episcopal Welcomes You". When is the "except if you actually believe in silly things like the Bible" going to be added? More lawsuits, more dispositions, and very little love going around.

House of Bishops resolution on 'waterboarding'
Bob Van Keuren, Atlanta, Georgia

I find myself paraphrasing Lincoln: As I would not want to be tortured, I would not be a torturer. This expresses my view of Christianity, civilization and humanity. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is un-Christian, uncivilized and inhumane. I pray to God that I may live up to this conviction, if need be, even to the point of being tortured or killed rather than giving in.

House of Bishops resolution on 'waterboarding'
Joe Pummill, Oakland, California

Thank you for making a stand about waterbording and the immoral treatment of "our enemies." I just get sick of the lack of morality practiced by our government. The same is true for this illegal and immoral war in Iraq. In most churches when I hear prayers for "our troops in Iraq" prayers usually do not go past that to include all of the victims of this war and refugees and Christian peacekeeper teams. Thanks for the stand. Now for a strong statement on lack of concern by the Administration and Congress about global warming. Thanks bishops; keep up the good work.

Responses to 'Lambeth invitation not possible for Robinson'
Robert Scott, Spokane, Washington

Bishop Gene is my hero! I think the Episcopal Church is wonderful for including everyone. I am a Roman Catholic and to tell you the truth -- your Church makes me hope that one day as Catholics we can be just as inclusive.

Responses to 'Lambeth invitation not possible for Robinson'
Deacon Teresa Suruda, Matawan, New Jersey

I cannot wrap my Medicare-eligible mind around someone not only not being invited to the table, but being told so, all based on the disapproval of some of his brothers. This may somehow fall in line with the Windsor Report, but how can this exclusion ever be reconciled with the gospel?

Responses to 'Lambeth invitation not possible for Robinson'
William Robertson-Wentzel, Charleroi, Pennsylvania

As a gay Episcopalian made to feel unbearably unwelcome in my parish and in my diocese, I have reached the end of my tolerance as well. The only way to deal with this bigotry gracefully is to remain silent. And I am finding silence useful since I have found a welcoming home with the local Quaker meeting. Silence is indeed golden! And my days as an Episcopalian are shortly numbered.

Responses to 'Lambeth invitation not possible for Robinson'
Mark Nilsen, Kansas City, Missouri

Gene Robinson speaks about his pain. What about the pain that he has caused millions and millions of Anglican's across the globe? The pain that has lead to the breakup of the Anglican Communion?

Responses to 'Lambeth invitation not possible for Robinson'
Frank Riggio, Baltimore, Maryland

I applaud all the messages of love and support of Gene. Of those who care more about their diocese's funding…I remind him that Christ chased the money changes out of the temple. Further, it is high time that the Episcopal Church find its own way in the walk of Christ and walk away from the bigoted sanctimonious crowds who proclaim hate and death to gays while looking the other way to those in Africa who having been shown the love of Christ now believe that they can define that love. Have they forgotten that Christ died on the cross for the least of his brethren and that the word of Christ is "love" not hate. I find it amazing that we choose to stay in this Communion with bigots. Let's keep our money here in the U.S. churches where there is enough starvation and lack of life as opposed to sending it to churches where they preach hate and non-acceptance of God's children…

Responses to 'Lambeth invitation not possible for Robinson'
Tom Dennis Key, Biscayne, Florida

It seems that the editor for this page is pro-gay or is perhaps gay since the majority of respondents shown are pro-gay. Robinson should have resigned long ago to prevent what is now happening to our Church today. All-inclusive if you are liberal left... All-inclusive if you think like the PB. It is the liberals who are intolerant. The gay agenda will paralyze the Church and destroy it from within. Bishop Robinson is a prime actor in the agenda; he could have sought peace and resigned for the sake of the Body of Christ.